The National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) has called on the Federal Government to revamp the sector to significantly reduce smuggling into the country through the borders.
The association also stressed the need for the government to eliminate multiple taxation on Cotton, Textiles and Garment (CTG) industries and products to encourage its members.
NACOTAN in a communiqué issued at the end of the first Nigeria International Cotton Summit and Expo 2023 signed by its President Anibe Achimugu, further called on government at all levels to provide a more aggressive control at the country’s borders by setting up anti-smuggling task force at all points of the nation borders.
According to the communiqué, NACOTAN was urged to establish a working relationship through the Malian Ambassador in Nigeria with the Government of Mali by means of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on cotton farming best practices.
“Since revamping the CTG Sector is predicated on Public-Private Partnership, NACOTAN must expedite follow-up actions with the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment on all resolutions of this Summit.
“NACOTAN must follow up promptly on the offer made by the Nigeria Export and Import (NEXIM) bank to allow cotton to benefit from their Bank’s financing intervention.
“It was agreed that NEXIM Bank will collaborate with already identified commercial banks to develop a model of financing that will be suitable for the CTG sector. NACOTAN should follow up on the Indian High Commissioner’s offer of training and re-training on cotton farming.
“NACOTAN must ensure that cotton farming in Nigeria is ‘rebranded’ to become competitive and therefore attractive, especially to the teeming youths of our nation.
“NACOTAN must join the follow-up effort of the initiative to establish a bilateral agreement between Nigeria and India that allows both countries to pay for goods of trade with their respective currencies. NACOTAN must follow up urgently on the offer made by NEPC to support cotton by reducing exportation costs using the instrument of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG).
“Federal and State governments must be made aware of the need and importance of support to Nigerian Cotton Farmers and Cotton Ginners. Government must do everything to revive the Textile and Garment Sub-sectors.
“Cotton Farming must be provided with a High Volume Instrument (HVI) for rapid testing of important cotton quality parameters. Government must be made aware of the need to continue with the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) in cotton farming, while NACOTAN commits to continue to pursue recoveries of loans given to farmers through the ABP,
“The sudden stoppage of the ABP after just two years created problems of continuity. NACOTAN must alert the Government/CBN of the need to ‘fine-tune the programme to run for at least five years in order that the full impact of the programme can be seen”, the communiqué read in part.